BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The gridiron heroes bounced back from their first loss to close the game against Oxford last Friday, 38-7.
“We always talk about you want to win but you want to get better,” said Kurt Richardson, long-time head coach for Clarkston Varsity Football. “We gave one away (against Southfield Arts & Technology last week) and that’s what we were harping on them all week – win and get better as an individual, as a unit – offense, defense, special teams, and as a team. I think we did it.”
On the Wolves’ first possession against Oxford, senior quarterback JT King made a 30-yard touchdown run, finishing 60 yards in four plays with 8:39 on the clock.
Clarkston struck again less than five minutes later with a 19-yard run by junior runningback Josh Cantu into the endzone.
It was the last minute of the first half which put the Wildcats away for the night. It began with senior kicker Zach Mansour’s 42-yard field goal.
Then, the Wolves recovered the ball on an onside kick on the 27-yard line. Within two plays, junior runningback Michael Fluegel made a touchdown. King passed the ball to senior Ryan Prisby for the 2-point conversion to put the score, 24-0.
“I think that broke their backs,” said Richardson about Oxford. “They have been coming back in the second half. Credit to Coach (Bud) Rowley and his kids, they played great second halves to get back in and make games close. We told our kids at half don’t let them crawl back into this.”
Clarkston scored twice in the third quarter with a touchdown from Fluegel with a PAT from Mansour. Then, they activated the running clock after sophomore Jake Billette completed his 21-yard touchdown run with 6:28 remaining in the third quarter.
“It’s fun to see him play,” Richardson said about Billette with a smile.
The Wildcats lone score came from a 10-yard touchdown throw from Garrett Tyrell to Ryan Miller with 25 seconds remaining in the game.
King went 7-for-11 on passing for 56 yards with one touchdown and a 2-point conversion.
Fluegel was the leading rusher going 122 yards on 14 carries.
“Offensively they started putting people out,” said Richardson. “JT did a nice job throwing the ball and special teams were pretty good. It was a nice win and all the kids got to play.”
Junior linebacker Gino Paese was the leading tackler with four tackles, two assists and one tackle for an 8-yard loss for Oxford. Senior Kyle Genter had one tackle and five assists and sophomore Garrett Lanker recovered two fumbles.
“We were very good,” Richardson said about defense. “The front guys handled their power game real well. All defense played well.”
The Wolves head to Stoney Creek (1-2) on Friday. Kick off is at 7 p.m.